New York City is sponsoring a design competition for a new city bike rack. Apparently, the Powers That Be are hoping to update the Big Apple's current line of racks, and to develop something a bit more "iconic." Winners of the competition will not only see their design sprout like a dozen sunflowers somewhere in the city. They'll be honored at the Cooper-Hewitt design museum.
Zac Frank, a transportation official, explained that the two dominant bike rack design on city sidewalks. The first is the wavy rack, “called the continuous curve,” he said. “There is one called the single inverted U — and it is called the ‘inverted U,’” he added, helpfully.
“I think the wavy thing is good too,” Mr. Frank said. “But it’s just been around for a long time.” Or as the news release put it, the current rack “does not fulfill its potential to be an icon for New York City cycling.” (Ouch!)
Two things. First, I personally have not yet seen a bike rack in the world that I would call "iconic." Have you? It's a noble aspiration, but I mean... it's a bike rack.
Second, I hope to God they don't remove or replace the old, less-than-iconic racks. Frankly, it was news to me that the city even has a meaningful bike rack policy, program and presence. I never saw a single bike rack in a whole year of bike commuting from Park Slope to Mid-Town, and to call any bike rack design "dominant" there is a real hat-stretcher.